I’m sure my first week was similar to all of yours; getting a tour, getting a desk, setting up my ID card, keys, payroll, etc. So while I didn't get knee deep into my research, I do have an understanding of what I will be doing.
In the Sub-Saharan African country of Cameroon, they have a huge need for transportation. They only have about 19 motor vehicles per 1,000 people. However, in the rural areas, where 42% of the population lives, they need vehicles to bring crops to market and water to the village. Although they have some old cars from the 80’s, they often break down because 92% of roadways are unpaved. Since all of these cars are imported, they oftentimes don’t have the parts or skilled labor to fix them. A team from Purdue has developed a Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) that can be made in Cameroon from parts in country, for less than $2000USD. It can carry a large payload for people, water, or crops, and can handle the tough terrain there.
|Basic Utility Vehicle|
In addition it has a power take-off so that you can attach a water pump or a maize grinder to run off of the engine’s power.
|Water Pump Attachment|
What I am doing is designing a hydraulic pump attachment to the BUV which will provide fluid power to things ranging from a brick press to a water well drill. I’m very excited about this and I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.